My daughter has been working for weeks on a recital piece with two other girls in her orchestra class. The piece is a trio called the “Dragonslayer”, a chamber orchestra piece. They stayed after school to practice on multiple occasions and even decided to dress up alike for the recital. I was pretty excited for her as I didn’t have this kind of opportunity and she is just blossoming as a violinist and as a social butterfly. She is a happy soul, well liked by all.
Last night Jen came and said, “Well mom, we cant do it.”
“What do you mean you cant do it? What is the problem?”
“Smallcakes forgot her violin at school and she isn’t coming to the recital.”
“Does Margaret know this?”
“No, I don’t have her number.”
“So you and ‘Smallcakes’ just planned to not show up and not inform your friend after you have spent all this time practicing? Smallcakes could borrow a violin from the teacher. I am sure she will have one. Or from another student. Please call her back and offer these ideas”
Honestly you would think the parent would be offering these ideas. I don’t even know if Smallcakes’ parent had a clue there was a recital from the sound of the conversation. In any event, none of my ideas were acceptable and Smallcakes was not only not going, she wasn’t going to inform her other friend of it.
I was horrified. What has gotten into this generation? To just leave a friend high and dry with no explanation?
Jenyn wasn’t planning on going either.
“NO WAY girl. You are going and you will explain to your friend what has happened. And just in case a miracle happens, you will bring your violin!”
Jenyn was really put out. She didn’t want to get up early to do Smallcakes’ dirty work. In her mind it was ruined, and there was nothing she could do to prevent Margaret from getting up and going, so why show up just to tell her?
I wondered where I failed as a parent.
Well, this was a life lesson, and I made her set her alarm and be ready by 8 am. She came down in grunge and rolled her eyes when I pointed to the violin.
“Ok mom but I’m not bringing it into the recital hall.”
“Fine, at least you will have it. What is going on with that outfit?”
“Don’t start mom, I’m tired and you are forcing me to do something stupid.”
I forced my mantra to firmly repeat itself while I took deep cleansing breaths. “Pick my battles, pick my battles, pick my battles.”
We got there early and Jenyn was huffing the whole time, but by now resigned. I really think she dreaded disappointing Margaret. Margaret finally appeared. Great, I knew mom from college days. So much the better. We greeted each other and I helped Jenyn tell the story and I suggested we talk to the teacher for ideas. The teacher decided that a duet would be fine in this instance, and they got to play. Of course I had to trudge out in to the snow to get her violin, and she forgot the headrest for it, which had to be borrowed, and she looked like a street urchin in her grunge outfit, but they played and for all of the stress of the morning I think she did well. The judge was very nice and really offered some great suggestions for improving their performance, so I think the whole situation was valuable for us all.
But I am still bothered in our throw away society how two little girls thought it was ok to just not show up and not tell the third that they were going to do the recital after all. Am I just getting old or do you agree that I should be horrified over the cavalier attitude?